I recently came across this video. Within minutes I was in tears. I’ve been struggling for a long while now; with my life after the mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgeries, with parenthood, with depression, with my marriage and with my dogs. Every one of these things is difficult and emotional on its own terms, but the latter was always my foundation. Dogs have been a great love and source of joy in my life for pretty much all of it. To suddenly question that relationship literally sent me into a panic and I’m sure added to the depression I was already dealing with.
There was more than one day where I said aloud, “I’m done.” If you know me at all, then you know these are very, very heavy words.
Dogs are intuitive. Anyone who owns or has ever owned a dog knows this. They are very in tune to their surroundings and their people. Amid the struggles in my life these past several years, the dogs have sensed and responded. Sometimes those responses are not always the good kind. Sometimes they respond by being extra defiant or destructive. Sometimes I would go to class (obedience of conformation) to work a pup and feel so out of sync I would just have to leave. I used to teach obedience classes for a living. I loved it. It was the best job I ever had. I may’ve been unsure of many things, but never of dogs and my relationship with them.
What the hell happened?
When I started this blog I was going through a very difficult time in my life. I am currently going through a similarly difficult time. It is a time of great change and struggle, and I am having to do some major soul searching. I’m having to get to the bottom of a lot of things I’ve shoved aside for a long time. Writing my book stalled since being unemotional and detached just doesn’t cut it when writing a book, especially when it deals with your struggles and emotional subjects. And I’d become that these past several years–detached, cold, less apt to do the things I once loved. I’d lost passion for a lot of things, and folks that’s a damn dangerous place to be.
I struggled for many years to get back into showing dogs. Once I did, I was reminded of how much I loathed a lot of the bullshit that comes along with it. Politics, dealing with assholes who think they know everything, rudeness. Then there’s dealing with family and friends who don’t share your enthusiasm for your hobby. Hell, I could write an entire book on just that. But I also found many people who embodied what the sport should be, who were helpful and generous and to these people I will forever be grateful. I went to every single show with the intent of having fun. But somewhere in the midst of chasing a goal I lost something.
I am slowly finding it again.
When I first saw this video, it resonated so deeply that I had tears streaming down my cheeks within seconds. We all have dreams. We have all found ourselves somewhere where we found it difficult to shine. It’s important that we remember where our strengths lie and where our true joy lies. Sometimes we struggle so hard for something we think we want, when we really should be pursuing something else. For some of us the epiphany is yet to happen, and that’s ok. We’re all on this journey, and we should be kinder to one another.
We’re all just trying to find our way.
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